Chicken in Ethiopian-Spiced Tomato Sauce with Crunchy Chickpeas

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My boyfriend has been in Copenhagen for the past month and a half and my stepmom once called and asked if I felt scared or alone. Hah! I never feel lonely or bored, dear Stepmom. In fact, there's nothing I enjoy more than being alone, which means I could #singlegirldinner for eternity and be just fine. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I can never decide. (Also probably why this blog will never die.)

If I'm cooking for others, I tend to compose comprehensive menus with multiple dishes, which can be time-consuming and many times makes me wonder what in the world I got myself into. (I chronicled some of my recipes on an alter-ego cooking blog when I lived at the ranch.) However, if I'm cooking just pour moi, it's usually a one-dish wonder that's easy to throw together. Bachelorette-style cooking, if you will. Sometimes it's just a matter of me assembling a plate of nibbles

I don't think I could think of a more boring cut of meat than the bland ol' boneless skinless chicken breast–essentially a solid block of protein–but it's the perfect blank canvas when you're watching what you eat. (As I recall, it's also favored by city bachelors.) Honestly, I used to think they were so limiting for some reason. What else could ya do aside from poachin' 'em, bakin' 'em, grillin' 'em... Poundin' 'em out and breadin' 'em... Stuffin' 'em... OK, I guess you could do a number of things with 'em.

I just never found them to be particularly interesting. *shrug* Healthy, yes; interesting, no. 

In an effort to spice things up, I reached for my tin of Ethiopian bebere spice and put it to work in this curry-inspired tomato sauce concoction. There's garlic, ginger, red onion and jalapeño in it, so there's no shortage on flavor here. The chicken breast, which I've cut into strips, is enrobed in this jubbly-wubbly sauce with every bite. For good measure, I add a few crunchy spiced chickpeas for texture and garnish with chopped chives. This might be gilding the lily but I also give it a good lashing of additional hot sauce which, I'll admit, feels a tad more bachelor-y than bachelorette-y

3 tablespoons of ghee (preferably 4th & Heart’s Himalayan Pink Salt Ghee–the best!)
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin wedges, layers separated
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced or grated
1/2 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes (canned)
1 bay leaf
Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons Ethiopian bebere spice
2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1-inch thick strips
Salt, to taste

For garnish
Saffron Road’s Crunchy Chickpeas in Bombay Spice flavor
Fresh chives, chopped
Splash of hot sauce of your choice (optional)


1. Melt ghee in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, red onion, ginger and jalapeño. Season with a sprinkle of salt. Sauté until golden and fragrant. The edges of the onions should be browned. 

2. Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Add bay leaf, chopped cilantro, Ethiopian bebere spice, smoked paprika and dried red chili flakes.  Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium and continue simmering, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

3. Add plain Greek yogurt or sour cream to the sauce. Stir until evenly incorporated. 

4. Add chicken strips to the skillet and cook on low heat, partially covered, for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if necessary.

5. To serve, spoon chicken onto plate and garnish with a few crunchy chickpeas, chopped chives, and a splash of hot sauce. 


*Would taste amazing over rice or with warmed flatbread, however low-carb options include sautéed greens with garlic, mashed cauliflower, or Miracle Noodles. I like to sauté chopped kale and garlic in ghee or olive oil with a sprinkle of vegan parm/nutritional yeast until it gets a bit crispy.

"Avgolemono" (Lemony Greek Chicken Soup, the SGD version)

This recipe proves that you can transform a plain ol' can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle into something more elegant, like a nice creamy and lemony Greek-inspired soup. Serve it with warm pita points and a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern dip (like taramosalata, hummus, or baba ganoush) to make it a meal.

1 can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle
2 organic eggs
1 lemon
Fresh dill
Maldon sea salt
Freshly cracked black peper


1.  Cook Campbell's Chicken Noodle according to the instructions on the label. Keep it at a happy simmer--do not boil. Squeeze half of the lemon into the pot of soup and lightly stir it in.

2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk with the juice from the other half of the lemon.

3. Slowly ladle hot broth into the bowl in a steady stream and whisk into the egg mixture. Add another ladle or two and do the same.

4. Pour everything back into the pot of soup and turn off the heat to ensure that the egg mixture doesn't curdle. The key is to keep it smooth and silky.

5. Sprinkle fresh dill fronds into the pot and add a bit of sea salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

The Sand Dab Discovery

I was dead-set on having Citarella's rotisserie chicken for dinner last night. My mistake was that I didn't get to the store until about 8:30 p.m. and they had already sold out. "Monday night, Miss," said the prepared foods guy, shaking his head apologetically, "They usually sell out by 7 p.m." I circled around the store, evaluating my options before cruising along the seafood display. Salmon? Boring. Tuna? Feels a little too heavy. Halibut? Whoa. Too expensive. Then, I came across these sand dab filets, which were flat and small--not much bigger than the palm of my hand. I decided to give them a try. Sand dabs are a smaller version of flounder, but still have that trademark moist, sweet flesh. I had a vision of crisping them up in a hot pan and then drizzling over a lemon-butter & dill sauce. They're just the right size for a #singlegirldinner. One serving is about four filets, which came out to be a whopping total of $3.95. Dinner is solved.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

114 Kenmare Street bet. Centre & Lafayette Streets

If you ask me, this is the best chicken tortilla soup in New York City. The silky, richly flavored chicken broth is bolstered with chopped raw onions, melty shredded chicken, creamy chunks of avocado, crumbled queso fresco, and flecks of toasted ancho chile peppers. I love it when the crispy tortilla strips are soaked in the broth just long enough to slightly soften, yet still retain a bit of a crunch. At six bucks, it's a lot more filling than you think. Whenever I'm lucky enough to grab a stool, I like to just sit and enjoy my soup while watching downtown life buzzing outside.